Sunday, June 4, 2017

Ritenour on A Plain Answer

Dan Elmendorf and I discussed issues relating to personal finance that my wife and I learned relatively early in our marriage that helped us avoid some financial pitfalls on this week's episode of A Plain Answer. It is a program on the Redeemer Broadcasting Network. You can listen to the podcast of the program by clicking here.

Although most of the time we discuss personal finance issues, we do talk about the effects of the Federal Reserve holding interest rates down so low for so long (Hint: they are not good). We also talk briefly about President Trump's economic policy decisions thus far.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Ritenour on the Tom Woods Show!

Talking Mises Reader. On his show today Tom and I have a fun discussion about my new edited volumes of works and excerpts by Ludwig von Mises. Woods calls it a great intermediate level introduction to Mises and Austrian economics. We also get into Mises' economics proper. You can listen to the episode below:

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Mises Reader!

I have edited a new book The Mises Reader published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. In the introduction to the volume I write:
The Mises Reader is intended to give a taste of the many facets of Mises’s thought in a way that accessibly communicates most of his key contributions to the social sciences. It therefore includes excerpts from his larger and more technically demanding works side-by-side with shorter, more introductory articles and lectures. The finished product is sort of an intelligent person’s guide to the work of Ludwig von Mises. It is especially suitable for those with an interest in Mises, but find jumping right into Human Action, Socialism, or The Theory of Money and Credit rather daunting. The hope is to give the reader a survey of Mises’s insights in a format that nourishes his intellectual soul, while also whetting the appetite for his larger corpus of work. Those ready to dive into deeper Misesian waters are encouraged to pick up The Mises Reader Unabridged which contains all of the material in The Mises Reader plus over 125 pages of additional material, primarily from his more scholarly works. It is hoped that together these two volumes will foster a rising generation of citizens more thoroughly acquainted with sound economics and the principles of the free society.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

International Conference of Prices and Markets

I just spent a tremendous day at the 2016 International Conference of Prices and Markets! I was blessed to present a paper on modern growth theory in light of Ludwig von Mises. I was also blessed to hear papers by David Howden, Glenn Fox, George Bragues, and Pierre Desrochers. A good time was had by all.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ludwig von Mises and My Life As an Economist

Ludwig von Mises once said that it was his reading Carl Menger's Principles of Economics that made him an economist. Well the same thing happened to me when I read Mises' Human Action. I documented the importance that book had on my life as a student in an address I gave at a conference celebrating the publication of the Scholars Edition of Human Action by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Today is the 135th anniversary of Mises' birth, so I take this opportunity to remember him and the importance of his work in my life. What I said those many years ago are still true today:
It is impossible to calculate the full benefits I have taken from Mises's Human Action. It showed me the truth of economics. It made me want to become an economist. It inspired me to be a scholar, and it set forth the rational case for liberty. It does the same for my students.

God providentially used Mises' work to confirm me in my calling as an economist and college professor. For that I continue to be grateful.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Survivied by His Wife

In a classic comedy routine I remember watching on the original Late Night with David Letterman . Alan King uses Ludwig von Mises' obituary as part of the act. I remember how stunned I was to hear Mises' name (and somewhat impressed that I knew who he was, being a young economics major). You can view it by clicking here.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Bohm-Bawerk at Harvard

In past graduate course exams that is. Following are two questions from the final exam for Harvard's graduate level Economic Theory course from 1912 posted at the fascinating blog Economics in the Rear-View Mirror currated by Irwin Collier.

  1. What three grounds explain, according to Böhm-Bawerk, the preference for present goods over future? Which of them does he conclude to be the most important? State Fisher’s criticism; and give your own opinion on the controverted question.

  1. “In the present condition of industry, most sales are made by men who are producers and merchants by profession. . . .For them, the subjective use value of their own wares is, for the most part, very nearly nil. … In sales by them the limiting effect which, according to our theoretical formula, would be exerted by the valuation of the last seller, practically does not come into play.” — Böhm-Bawerk.
    What is the ” theoretical formula “? and what is the importance of the qualification here stated?
They are important reminders that in his day Bohm-Bawerk was recognized as in important and distinct economic theorist. In fact, there is much at Economics in the Rear-View Mirror that reveals Austrian economics had a significant place at the economics table before World-War II.